The Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust have published Quality at a cost: QualityWatch annual statement 2016.
This report looks at a range of care quality measures across the NHS in England. It highlights several areas of health care where standards have improved, but the authors point to slowing improvement in other areas, growing waiting times and continuing financial pressures.
QualityWatch routinely monitors over 300 indicators spread across all domains of quality. This report considers a selection of areas from within this set, covering different stages of a patient’s experience of the health service, to give a picture of quality in 2016.
It looks across six main areas:
- Public health
- Primary care
- Hospital care
- Mental health
- Condition-specific care (stroke and hip fracture)
The report observes that the pressure of austerity did not impact on quality measures straight away, but took a few years to be felt. Authors conclude that further ‘delayed decline’ could occur in other aspects of care quality, such as effectiveness of treatment or patient safety, given the extent of the challenges faced and ongoing austerity in health and social care spending.